LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Civil Rights Suit Does Not Constitute Just 1 Occurrence, New York High Court Rules

ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York Court of Appeals on Feb. 11 affirmed a lower court's finding that each jail strip search of underlying class members is a separate and distinct occurrence subject to separate deductible payments, further affirming that the underlying attorney fees were properly allocated to the named plaintiff only (Selective Insurance Company of America, et al. v County of Rensselaer, No. 4, N.Y. App.; 2016 N.Y. LEXIS).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania PUC Chairman Dismissed By Stipulation From Natural Gas Gag Order Suit

SCRANTON, Pa. - The Pennsylvania physician who alleges statutory restrictions on his ability to discover the chemicals in proprietary hydraulic fracturing fluids used in natural gas extraction violates his civil rights under the First and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and exposes him to professional disciplinary action by the American Medical Association and the Pennsylvania officials he accuses of the violations stipulated to the dismissal of claims against the chairman of the Public Utility Commission; the stipulation was endorsed by the presiding judge on Feb. 7 (Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, M.D., v. Michael L. Krancer, et al., No. 12-1458, M.D. Pa.).

Federal Judge Finds Doctor Lacks Standing To Contest Pennsylvania Fracking Law

SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania physician who alleges that statutory restrictions on his ability to discover the chemicals in proprietary hydraulic fracturing fluids used in natural gas extraction violates his civil rights under the First and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and exposes him to professional disciplinary action by the American Medical Association lacks standing to challenge the statute, a U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania judge ruled Oct. 23 (Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, M.D., v. Michael L. Krancer, et al., No. 12-1458, M.D. PA.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152207).

5th Circuit: Firing An Employee Who Is Lactating Violates Title VII

NEW ORLEANS - Discharging a female employee because she is lactating or expressing breast milk constitutes gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 30 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Houston Funding II, Limited, et al., No. 12-20220, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10933).

ACLU Class Complaint: Westboro Baptist Demonstrators May Desecrate Flag

DES MOINES, Iowa - The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa filed a class complaint on April 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on behalf of members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., alleging that their constitutional rights have been violated by law enforcement officials seeking to enforce an old law barring the desecration of the U.S. flag (Margie J. Phelps, et al. v. Red Oak Police Chief Drew Powers, et al., No. 13-11, S.D. Iowa).

Complaint Alleging Exposure To Petroleum Fumes Dismissed For Lack Of Jurisdiction

SAN FRANCISCO - The personal injury lawsuit of a California plaintiff who alleges that the City of Richmond, Calif., and Chevron Oil Inc. violated her constitutional and civil rights by allowing petroleum fumes to leak from oil refinery pipes was dismissed with leave to amend on Jan. 14 for lack of federal jurisdiction (Sylvia Marie Williams v. Chevron Oil Inc., et al., No. 12-5488, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6106).

3rd Circuit: Hiring Preference For Government Workers Does Not Constitute Bias

PHILADELPHIA - Treating federal employees applying for another federal position differently from those candidates who have not worked for the federal government does not violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 27 (Warren K. Gladden v. Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary US Department of Agriculture, No. 11-3001, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8596).